The Latest: Man’s father satisfied with settlement in death

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

$4.9 million settlement reached in Kelly Thomas wrongful-death case.

SANTA ANA, Calif. “The contemplated settlement has been negotiated by the city’s insurers and has been reviewed by the city,” Jones said in the statement. “No city funds are involved in this settlement.” “Although the city would like to say it’s not admitting liability, the reality is when you’re paying $4.9 million, almost five times what the mother took to settle her case, that speaks loudly and clearly and in volume,” said Garo Mardirossian, attorney for Thomas’ father Ron. “The act of having agreed to pay that large amount is a tacit admission, whether they admit it or not.” FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — A wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the city of Fullerton in the death of Kelly Thomas has been settled for $4.9 million, attorneys announced Monday. Since the 2011 death of his son, who was homeless and had schizophrenia that had led to previous interactions with police, Ron Thomas has crusaded to bring attention to the death, to see the officers who arrested him prosecuted and to improve police interactions with the mentally ill. The panel is still expected to come to the courthouse, but the judge presiding over the case will simply thank them for their service and dismiss them.

Attorney Garo Mardirossian, representing Ron Thomas, said earlier that evidence in the trial would show the officers violated their training and department’s rules and suffocated the 37-year-old transient July 5, 2011, at the Fullerton Transportation Center. Fullerton city attorney Richard Jones tried to put a positive spin on the news, telling the Voice of Orange County there is a possibility an insurance company pay cover the cost of the settlement, so it would not have to come out of taxpayer’s pockets. The attorneys representing the defendants said Thomas had a heart attack due to a preexisting condition and the officers acted properly and were not at fault in the man’s death. (©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. However, Fox said, the defendants and the city continue to dispute the claims, as well as their liability for damages, but seek to avoid a protracted trial.

The lawsuit names former Fullerton police Officers Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe, who were all fired from the department; Officers Kevin Craig and James Blatney, who remain with the department; ex-Chief Michael Sellers and his predecessor, Patrick McKinley, who sat on the City Council at the time of the incident and was later recalled.

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